GB Rowing Team men’s eight win gold
Matt Gotrel, Constantine Louloudis, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory, George Nash,Will Satch and Phelan Hill wrote a new chapter in British men’s eights history when they brought up the hat-trick of successive World golds for GB in this event.
In a lung-bursting finish they held off Germany, their season-long rivals, by just two tenths to take the victory on Lake Aiguebelette in France. in 5:36.18.
“It’s the first time in a while that I had my doubts before a race”, said Reed afterwards. “The data from the heats showed that it was so, so close. I am speechless. That was tough. It felt like a full-out sprint”.
“The guys were immense in that last 500m”, said Hill of the Jurgen Grobler-coached crew. “We wanted to hit the start and put ourselves in the mix in the first 500m before building on that”.
Katie Greves, Louisa Reeve, Jess Eddie, Donna Etiebet, Vicky Meyer-Laker, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Rosamund Bradbury, Zoe Lee and cox Zoe Toledo fell cruelly short of a medal by just a second behind Canada in a women’s eight race won by the USA with New Zealand taking silver.
De Toledo said: “It was our primary goal for the regatta to get a Rio slot so we are really pleased with that. But we are disappointed on missing out on the medal by so little”.
The next chapter in the comeback of Olympic Champion Katherine Grainger who was involved in a medal or bust women’s double scull race with GB Rowing Team trials winner Vicky Thornley was written in France today. Ultimately they were sixth, rowed out of the medals in the final 150m, after a valiant early-race effort.
Thornley said: “All I could see was the Poles alongside us and I think we raced well. When we moved on them we moved well but I wasn’t sure where we were against the others. In the last 150m, I don’t know, it felt like we ran out of steam”.
GB’s medal tally here in France was five golds, nine silver, and a bronze compared to four golds, four silvers and two bronzes in Amsterdam a year ago. It was enough to top the 2015 medal with New Zealand second and Germany third.
Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director said: “I am really pleased with our Championships performance. The men’s eight winning gold was a great way to finish. With our medals, our 12 Olympic slots and four Paralympic slots we can now look forward to stepping on next year to a top performance in Rio at both Games”.
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Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley, the European bronze medalists, opened the race-card for the GB Rowing Team on the final day of the World Championships which has been played out against the stunning backdrop of France’s Lac d’Aiguebelette and organised superbly.
Racing in lane one, they faced a Herculean task to win a medal based on the season’s form to date and the pedigree of the crews facing them. In lane three were New Zealand, containing Zoe Stevenson of the 2014 World Champion boat, with her new partner Eve MacFarlane.
Lithuania’s Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite, the 2013 World Champions, were in lane five and Poland, the European Champions and 2013 World silver medallists, were in lane two. Greece’s Aikaterini NIkoladiou and Sofia Asoumanaki had also turned heads in the earlier rounds with their speed. All six boats had already qualified for Rio so today it was all about the result.
As the race unfolded Germany took the early lead but Grainger and Thornley were in the fight in a phalanx with Poland and Greece. New Zealand started somewhat shyly but then picked up the pace. At halfway they were up front with Germany second and GB third.
The New Zealanders eased into the lead but the GB boat appeared to be closing on the Germans. At 1500m gone Grainger sneaked a view across the field and must have been pleased with what she saw.
In the final surge, though, the Greeks proved too pacey, the Germans held third and the Poles and Lithuanians overcame a tiring British boat.
By contrast to the women’s double scullers, every athlete that went to the start line for today’s six-boat women’s eight final knew that only the top five boats would qualify slots for Rio.
In this event the United States have reigned supreme in recent years. They are the World and Olympic Champions and were racing in lane four. Canada, World Silver medallists in Amsterdam a year ago, were in lane three.
The Dutch were alongside the British combination of Katie Greves, Louisa Reeve, Jess Eddie,Donna Etiebet, Vicky Meyer-Laker, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Rosamund Bradbury, stroke Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo who raced in lane one. New Zealand, in lane five, and Russia in lane six, completed the field.
If the GB crew had brought their best race to the party, they knew they could not only find themselves Rio-qualified but also potentially on the podium. It would be a a tense ride for the hundreds of GB supporters in the stands.
As the race began the British boat made its intentions clear by taking an early and slender lead, producing the foundations on which to build success and reaching the 500m mark ahead of the USA.
It was still very tight as the race pounded brutally though halfway when the USA pulled out to a big lead. Gold was inevitably theirs but the race now was for silver, bronze and those qualifying slots. New Zealand, Canada and the GB boat were nip and tuck. Cruelly, the GB boat missed out in the final knockings of the race to take fourth just over a second behind Canada in bronze with New Zealand winning silver. In the immediate aftermath, the Rio place will have been scant consolation but will provide the platform to prepare though 2016.
Zoe de Toledo said: “It was our primary goal for the regatta to get a Rio slot so we are really pleased with that. But we are disappointed on missing out on the medal by so little.
“We maximised our strengths by going out hard. I am really proud of the girls for rowing like that”.
Etiebet added: “We are elated that we got the spot for Rio. It was a close race. We felt the fire in that last 100m and that gives us motivation to come back next year and aim for the podium”.
Next came the race that has provoked such excitement around the rowing world this year and last. Great Britain, the defending World Champions of 2013 and 2014, were racing in the men’s eight final containing Germany, the Olympic Champions.
Matt Gotrel, Constantine Louloudis, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory,George Nash, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill were in lane three and drawn alongside the Germans with whom they have experienced several very close races this season culminating in a victory for GB at the last world cup in Lucerne.
The GB combination would not be complacent going to the start line today nor would they discount any of their other rivals. New Zealand, in lane one, were bronze medalists at Lucerne and Russia had taken bronze behind Germany and GB respectively at the Europeans.
In the first 500m of today’s race the British boat got out well but Russia were the quickest off the start. As the crews settled to racing pace the GB crew were edging into the lead. Just beyond the first timing boat the TV cameras showed that the British bowball had moved a half a boat length ahead. New Zealand were also showing well and Germany were in touch as the race moved through halfway.
Stroke by lung-busting stroke the British boat chewed up the third 500m. Germany surged and moved on the GB boat. Still the Kiwis were hanging on to second. This was going to be a finish of epic proportions as the cries of “Kiwi”, “Kiwi” mixed with “GB” “GB”.
But it was Germany who were charging back on the GB boat. Inch by inch they battled to take the gold from Britain’s grasp only to fall two-tenths of a second short. Gold to GB in 5:36.18, silver to Germany in 5:36.36 and bronze in a photo-finish to the Dutch in 5:38.09.
Italy’s false start caused a slight delay to the men’s double scull B final, featuring John Collinsand Jonny Walton of Great Britain. Once underway, the GB boat started well and held third through the first three timing markers in a tightly-bunched field from which Azerbaijan emerged to lead marginally at halfway.
The closeness of the field through the second part of the race, set up a monumental and long charge to the line and provided success for the GB double as they used their finishing speed to take second in a photo-finish with Azerbaijan and qualified for Rio.
Collins said: “It was a text-book race. We finished the Championships with the perfect race that was well-executed and we did the job we had to do”.
China led out the lightweight men’s four B final in which Jono Clegg, Peter Chambers, Mark Aldred and Chris Bartley were seeking some recompense for missing the A final by finishing in the top five and booking a spot for GB for Rio. They duly obliged with a third-placed finish in a race that was won by the USA with the Chinese coming home just ahead of GB.
Aldred said: “It was a disappointing regatta, we didn’t come to finish ninth but we go the main job done which was to qualify our boat for next year. It has been a tough season but we learnt a lot and will come back and hopefully improve”.
Last of the GB “B” finalists today was Alan Campbell, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist. He needed a top three finish to book a Rio place for the boat. The man from Coleraine made a good start, tracking the early leader Sverri Nielsen of Denmark. Just before halfway he moved into the lead and was looking strong with Poland emerging to challenge.
Campbell led a ferocious sprint to the line and fell just the wrong side of photo-finish with Poland but still emphatically in the top three.
Campbell said: “Before I came here the job was to qualify the boat for Rio. I felt in the right place in the B final and accept that’s where my level was for this regatta. I am disappointed not to have been where I wanted to be but the event have moved on. I’m sculling well but just not racing as I’d like”.
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(Events featuring GB boats only. Full results: www.worldrowing.com)
1. Eve Macfarlane/Zoe Stevenson (New Zealand) 6:45.09
2. Aikaterini Nikolaidou/Sofia Asoumanaki (Greece) 6:46.51
3. Julia Lier/Mareike Adams (Germany) 6:47.19
4. Magdaiena Fularczyk/Natalia Madaj (Poland) 6:47.91
5. Donata Vistartaite/Milda Valciukaite (Lithuania) 6:48.64
6. Katherine Grainger/Vicky Thornley (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.41
1. USA 6:05.65
2. New Zealand 6:08.52
3. Canada 6:09.05
4. Katie Greves/Louise Reeve/Jessica Eddie /Donna Etiebet/Victoria Meyer-Laker/Olivia
Carnegie-Brown/Rosamund Bradbury/Zoe Lee/Zoe de Toledo (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN)
5. Russia 6:11.49
6. Netherlands 6:12.33
1. Matt Gotrel/Constantine Louloudis/Pete Reed/Paul Bennett/Mohamed Sbihi/Alex
Gregory/George Nash/Will Satch/Phelan Hill (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5: 36.18
2. Germany 5:36.36
3. Netherlands 5:38.09
4. New Zealand 5:38.22
5. Russia 5:41.68
6. Italy 5:45.08
1. Stanislau Shcharbachenia (Belarus) 6:46.57
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:46.68
3. Natan Wegrzychi-szymczyk (Poland) 6:47.94
4. Dani Fridman (Israel) 6:51.66
5. Sverri Nielsen (Denmark) 6:54.74
6. Hannes Obreno (Belgium) 7:02.75
1. Aleksandar Alelsandrov/Boris Yotov (Azerbaijan) 6:10.26
2. John Collins/Jonathon Walton (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:10.45
3. Eduardo Rubio Rodriguez/Adrian Oquendo Ibanez (Cuba) 6:10.76
4. Giacomo Gentitli/Romano Batisti (Italy) 6:11.77
5. Georgi Bozhilov/Kristian Vasilev (Bulgaria) 6:11.84
6. Nils Jakob Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:13.40
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(bow to stroke plus cox, name, club, hometown)
Rebecca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy/11.12.91)/
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Holly Norton (Leander Club/Johannesburg, SA/01.01.93)
Coach: Jane Hall
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Zoe de Toledo (Cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.9.80)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
KrisTina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Coach: Nick Strange
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/25.05.91)
Coach: Christian Felkel
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Constantine Louloudis (OUBC/London/15.09.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham, Cambs, 13.12.88)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Poole/13.07.91)
Ruth Walzcak (Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)
Emily Craig (Univ of London BC/Mark Cross/30.11.92)
Eleanor Piggott (Wallingford RC/Bedford/16.05.91)
Coach: Ben Reed
Jono Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Cresswell/30.08.89)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes Univ/BC/Watlington/30.01.93)
Steve Parsonage (Norwich RC/Norwich/16.01.96)
Sam Mottram (Leander Club/Stoke Mandeville/14.11.94)
Zak Lee Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff/05.02.91)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Coxed four (LTA 4+)
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/Sheffield/21.06.91)
Daniel Brown (Upper Thames BC/Reading/29.11.82)
Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.01.90)
Coach: Tom Dyson
Trunk/-arms double scull (TA2x)
Arms/-shoulders single scull (ASM 1x)
Arms/-shoulders single scull (ASW 1x)
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GB MEDALS AT THE 2015 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Total medals won: Golds: Silver: Bronze:
Lightweight Women’s Double Scull
Charlotte Taylor/Kat Copeland
Lightweight Women’s Single Scull
Arms and Shoulders Single Scull
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For background information about the The GB Rowing Team contact the Press office email@example.com or 07831 755351
For picture requests please contact: GBRTpressoffice@gbrowingteam.org.uk
GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
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